Patent Anne Boleyn
The letter patent creating Anne Boleyn as the Marquess of Pembroke.

Sunday 1st September 1532 was a big day for Anne Boleyn, in fact, it was a huge day for her.

In a ceremony at Windsor Castle, Anne Boleyn, daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde, was created Marquis of Pembroke. Letters and Papers gives some details of the ceremony:

“Creacion of lady Anne, doughter to therle of Wilteshier, marquesse of Penbroke.”
Sunday, 1 Sept. 1532, 24 Hen. VIII. The lady was conveyed by noblemen and the officers of arms at Windsor Castle to the King, who was accompanied by the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and other noblemen, and the ambassador of France. Mr. Garter bore her patent of creation; and lady Mary, daughter to the duke of Norfolk, her mantle of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, and a coronet. The lady Marques, who was “in her hair,” and dressed in a surcoat of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, with strait sleeves, was led by Elizabeth countess of Rutland, and Dorothy countess of Sussex. While she kneeled before the King, Garter delivered her patent, which was read by the bishop of Winchester. The King invested her with the mantle and coronet, and gave her two patents,one of her creation, the other of 1,000l. a year. She thanked the King, and returned to her chamber.
Gifts given by the lady Marques :To Mr. Garter, for her apparel, 8l.; to the Office of Arms, 11l. 13s. 4d. The King gave them 5l.
Officers of Arms present :Garter and Clarencieux, kings; Richmond, Carlisle, and Windsor, heralds; Rougecross, Portcullis, Bluemantle, and Guisnes, pursuivants.”

Not only was this title granted to Anne in her own right, it also came with lands worth over £1,000 (over £300,000 in today’s money) per year. The record in Letters & Papers goes on to give a valuation of her lands:

“Total of the lands of the lady Anne marchioness in Wales, over and above casualties not charged, 710l. 7s. 10d., out of which she is charged to pay by the King’s grants yearly, 199l. 5s. 11d., “which the tallage or knowledge money will discharge for the time; and after that, the fines for the sessions and the customs which be not charged in the value will discharge them.”
Sum of the lands in England : Corry Mallett, Soms., Hundesdon, and Estwyke, Herts, “lands late Philip Pary’s, in Hundesdon,” manors of Stansted, Roydon, Fylollyshall, and Cokkeshall, and Weston next Baldoke (value of each stated separately), 313l. 5s. 3d. Total for England and Wales by the last gift of the King, 1,023l. 13s. 2d.”

Chronicler Edward Hall records that after the ceremony, King Henry VIII met with the French ambassador and “a new league was concluded & sworne” between France and England. The King’s almoner, Dr Foxe, then made “an eloquent oracion in Latin, in praise of peace, love and amitie”. After that, the King returned to the castle for a sumptuous banquet in honour of his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn, and her new title, a title which made her a fitting queen-in-waiting and consort for the couple’s forthcoming trip to Calais to meet Francis I of France.

Notes and Sources

  • Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532, 1274:3, 6.
  • Hall, Edward (1809) Hall’s chronicle : containing the history of England, during the reign of Henry the Fourth, and the succeeding monarchs, to the end of the reign of Henry the Eighth, in which are particularly described the manners and customs of those periods. Carefully collated with the editions of 1548 and 1550, J. Johnson, p. 790.

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